Our History

Les forages Lantech Drilling Services Inc.
From 1990 to 2012

Founding
Company President, Jean LeBlanc, founded Les forages Lantech Drilling Services Inc. in Dieppe, New Brunswick in March 1990 with two employees hired to operate the company's first drill. By July, two additional drills were purchased and by the end of the first full year of operation, sales reached $646,000.

Growing
Lantech purchased a fourth drill in 1991 and moved the operation from the founder's residence to a more suitable office and warehouse facility. It became necessary at that time to employ a full time warehouseman bringing the employee count to nine. Sales for this second year surpassed $1 million.

Acquiring new assets
In 1992, with the acquisition of assets owned by Nova Scotia based Clyde Smith Drilling, Lantech targeted the mineral exploration sector. That same year, a fifth geo-environmental drill and associated equipment were added to the fleet.

Branching out
In the spring of 1993, Lantech expanded into Ontario by opening a branch in the greater Toronto area. The new branch was built around experienced managers Mark Williams and Don Dunbar both of whom had successfully penetrated the Southern Ontario market with a former employer. Two new drills, and then a third transferred from Dieppe, gave the Newmarket branch sufficient starting capacity.

In the fall of that year, Gary Ball, a senior manager with a major international drilling contractor, joined Lantech as a shareholder and manager with a mandate to expand the mining exploration market. This mandate was realized with Lantech being recognized as an industry leader in the Maritimes.

In April 1995, Mark Blomme, who had held several operations management positions with Boart Longyear, joined the Lantech team as shareholder and Manager of Operations. A year later, in July 1996, professional geologist, George Cooper, was hired as Contract Administrator.

By 1997, Lantech was operating 20 rigs with over 65 employees under its wing and sales exceeded $6.5 million with more than 50% generated from mineral exploration.

Oil and gas sector
Late in 1998, the company completed its first slim hole oil shale project with a newly acquired LDS55 drilling rig, and early in 1999 a decision was made to actively pursue opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

By 1999, Lantech had mastered the slim hole technology enough to actively promote it in the Atlantic Region, to develop the oil and gas market. This led to new operations in Newfoundland in order to better serve the Newfoundland and Labrador market.

Africa
After successfully providing quality, professional and innovative contract drilling services to the Canadian exploration community from 1990 to 1998, Lantech expanded its operation to the international marketplace, focusing its initial efforts on Africa.

  • Burkina Faso: For this purpose, the company hired former Boart Longyear Regional Manager for West Africa, Gaetan Gagné, to spearhead its marketing efforts on the African continent, resulting in Lantech opening administrative offices in Burkina Faso.
  • Morocco: With the new millennium, Lantech signed its first international contract with a multinational mining company in Morocco, thus establishing a presence in North Africa.

Record breaking
In 2001, Lantech established a new record for the deepest NQ core hole drilled in Atlantic Canada (2534m), surpassing the previous record (2236m) also drilled by Lantech in 1999.

Growing
Between 2004 and 2008, Lantech grew to 16 geotechnical and environmental drills, in addition to over 21 drills focused on core drilling and mining and energy exploration.

  • 2004: Important contract with Noranda/Falconbridge & Slam for an exploration project in Bathurst, New Brunswick.
  • 2006: In addition to being the most important drilling contractor in the Maritimes, Lantech was involved in a number of large-scale projects in Labrador, requiring its equipment to be moved by plane and helicopter.
  • 2007: Lantech’s fleet had expanded and modernized with the addition of 9 exploration rigs, and sales exceeded $12 million.
  • 2008: The company established a presence in Nunavut with the deployment of 2 exploration rigs. By now, the company operated 37 drills in all consisting of 20 exploration drills and 17 geotechnical drills, and sales exceeded $24 million.
  • By 2009, business is steadily increasing, so Lantech hired Donald Desforges as Contract Manager, with over 27 years of experience in the drilling industry, working in Canada, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. Here are some highlights for this year:
  • Liberia: Lantech signed a new contract with an important international company in Liberia.
  • Labrador: Already present in Labrador, Lantech began another large-scale project for IOC in Labrador.
  • Mauritania: Lantech signed a new contract with an important international company in Mauritania.
  • India: Lantech signed a LOI for an eventual joint venture agreement with Saumya Mining PVT Ltd. bringing it half way around the world, all the way to India. This joint venture would enable Lantech and Saumya to create Saumya Lantech Drilling, an Indian Drilling company servicing India and Australasia.

    By 2010, the company had 44 drills, 16 of which were geotechnical and environmental drills and 28 were diamond core drills..
  • Five additional exploration drills came through the acquisition of the Dominion Drilling assets in Melfort Saskatchewan. Melfort branch operations were placed in the care of Fred Graham, with over 35 years of experience in the drilling business.

    In December 2011 Lantech became a wholly owned subsidiary of Orbit Garant Drilling and with the support of one of the largest drilling companies in Canada continues to look for growth opportunities both in Canada and Africa.

Success
Based on the quality of its work and workmanship, Lantech Drilling has proven its ability to effectively service its customers within the Canadian and world markets, thus solidifying the company’s reputation as a trusted industry leader within both its geotechnical and exploration divisions.